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Residents tighten belts over inflation fears

Shanghai residents were less willing to spend money in the third quarter amid fears of surging house prices, possible inflation and gloomy stock market, a report said today.

The Shanghai Consumer Confidence Index hit 109.4 points in the third quarter, down 1.8 points from the previous quarter, said the quarterly report released by the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

"Consumers became more cautious about the economic outlook after the stock market moved sharply downward in the third quarter, together with rising housing prices and anticipation of possible inflation," said Xu Guoxiang, the research program leader and director of the university's Applied Statistics Research Center.

An index reading above 100 points indicates consumers are positive about the economy while below 100 points indicates the opposite.

The index measuring people's willingness to buy homes dropped 16.6 points from the previous quarter to 50 points.


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